Papal Trip to Cuba?
April 17, 2015. The Vatican's spokesperson has announced that Pope Francis is considering a trip to Cuba. If the visit takes place it would be before or after his trip to the U.S in September. The process however, is still in its beginning phases, so no official decision has been made.
Dates of papal trip to Latin America released
April 16, 2015. The Vatican has announced the dates of Pope's upcoming trip to Latin America. He will visit Ecuador from July 6 to 8. After, he will be in Bolivia from July 8 to 10. He will then go to Paraguay until July 12.
Pope's Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
April 14, 2015. In his message for the event, which will be held on April 26, Pope Francis considers the meaning of "vocation.” He writes that it means to respond to God's call. That is, "allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind” so that we can find Jesus Christ, "the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness.”
The title of the message is: "Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation.”
Read the full text here.
New vicar apostolic in Venezuela and bishop in India
April 7, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Ernesto José Romero Rivas, O.F.M. to be Vicar Apostolic of Tucupita (Venezuela). The Pope has also appointed Vincent Aind to be Bishop of Bagdogra (India).
New Prefect in the Congregation for Catholic Education
March 31, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He also also appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.
New bishop in Mozambique
March 30, 2015. The Pope has appointed Alberto Vera Aréjula, a Spanish missionary, to be Auxiliary Bishop of Xai-Xai in Mozambique.
New Eparchy and new Exarchate in India
March 26, 2015. The Pope has created the Eparchy of St. John Chrysostom in Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He has also appointed its first bishop, Jacob Barnabas Aerath. Additionally, Pope Francis created the new Apostolic Exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He appointed the first Exarch, Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil.
New bishop in Ecuador
March 24, 2015. Pope Francis appointed Victor Bertram Wick Enzler to be bishop of Santo Domingo (Ecuador). Until now, he served as auxiliary bishop of Guayaquil, also in Ecuador.
Despite the rain about 13,000 people came out to greet Pope Francis during his weekly general audience. To start things off, he chatted a bit with fellow Argentinian soccer fans and exchanged his papal hat, not once, but twice. He blessed several babies along the way, but one girl wasn't too excited about the whole experience.
"No, No. She's scared. Look, she's frightened.”
"If I hug her, I'll have to get her a psychiatrist.”
During his catechesis, the Pope talked about ecumenism, especially since the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is currently taking place. He described divisions among Christians as a scandal.
"Our Christian communities still experience divisions and this is a scandal. Division among us is a scandal. There is no other word for it. It's simply a scandal.”
The Pope then explained that Christians from different denominations can learn from one another. What one community lacks, it can find in the other.
"Let's find joy as we recognize the different graces that God has given our fellow Christians. We receive the same Baptism from the Holy Spirit, who gives these graces. Let's recognize this and rejoice.”
Before concluding his general audience, the Pope also made an appeal for peace in Syria. On Wednesday an international Syrian Peace Conference began in Switzerland. The Pope called on governments and civilians to vouch for reconciliation, instead of violence.
"May they see in one another not an enemy, not a competitor, but rather brothers and sisters to welcome and embrace.”
Usually, during this time of year the general audiences are held indoors because of the cold weather. But to accommodate more pilgrims, so far all of them have taken place in St. Peter's Square.